Of course, crew-based recommendations is a matter of personal choice. For me, Christopher Nolan and Vishal Bhardwaj still remain the two other people whose mere association with a movie (as writers or directors) is sufficient to invest time and money in the result. What's interesting with Deol is that unlike Nolan or Vishal, he has very little control over the ultimate destiny of his films. Therefore, this uni-dimensional algorithm is likely to SEGFAULT ("crash", let's say, for you non-geeks) sooner than later. But seven interesting movies, with an eighth releasing tomorrow, is not a bad sequence to have.
1. Socha Na Tha: a romantic comedy that asked the question "what happens if a fellow falls in a love with a girl after he's gone to 'see her' and told everyone he doesn't like her". In his debut, Imtiaz Ali showed his penchant for finding unusual twists out of typical situations. Deol plays a rich kid with too many loves on his mind.
2. Ahistaa Ahistaa: Imtiaz Ali wrote this for friend and debutant Shivam Nair, the tale of a marriage witness-for-hire who takes care of a girl who's been stood up at the registrar's office. The unnecessary insertion of Himesh's songs (at an all time peak then) didn't help this little film.
3. Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd: a bunch of tales so light that they escaped into the sky on release. The Abhay Deol-Minissha Lambaa segment was easily the most surreal. Anurag Kashyap turned Deol into the first ever Parsi superhero (spoiler alert, select to read!). Who would have thought?
4. Ek Chalis Ki Last Local: another variation on the "man falls into the night" theme, this time with lots of purple lungis thrown in. Funny without being special
5. Manorama Six Feet Under: In this Rajasthani version of Chinatown, Deol is mediocre at most things: writing, leading a family, even at being corrupt. A brave choice for a Hindi cinema leading man and probably the best film he's been in.
6. Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!: a movie that had the colossal misfortune of being released the same week as India's most audacious terrorist attack. His most complex character, that of a loveless con artist, marked further progress.
Road, Movie is up next.